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Are Dirt Cheap Motor Scooters for Real?

Jul 21, 2008
It's a very natural question, and an important one too, because today's cutting edge motor scooters go for over six thousand dollars. However, the answer depends on a handful of important conditions and assumptions. Let's examine the context here--then we'll be able to speak to the viability of cheap motor scooters.

First, the answer depends on what you mean by "cheap." In the world of motor scooters, there's cheap--as in a smart, economical buy--and then there's DIRT CHEAP--as in a rock bottom, is-this-for-real? purchase. At this point, stop and ask yourself: "What kind of dividends do I want to enjoy from my scooter?"

If you're looking for a trick stand-up scooter to ride around in your neighborhood, I'll cut to the chase here: a stripped-down model from a small manufacturer may work out OK. As long as you know what you're buying, you won't have high expectations for durability or gas mileage. You won't use your scooter in tough conditions, and you won't be shocked if it breaks. However, if you want your motor scooter to last for years, be a long term investment, and save you money on your commute or highway travel, the dirt cheap option is absolutely not for you.

Does that clear some things up? Fortunately, the good news is that motorized scooters from top tier makers like Yamaha, Honda, and Piaggio (the Vespa) come in a broad price range. This is where that smart, thrifty category of cheap comes in. At the top of the scooter spectrum are sparkling new hybrid models that can get 100 mpg or better, can easily achieve highway speeds, and are good for long range travel and off-road use. If you want a scooter that can handle all that, you may be looking at a $6000 price tag. Does that make you swallow hard?

If so, there's good news. While it's true that motor scooters pay for themselves in the long run (traveling for as little as four cents a mile has that effect), not everyone wants to shell out six grand up front. And you can still get plenty of bang for your buck for $2000 or less. For example, if you want an economical scooter for short-range, local use, and 12-15 mph satisfies your need for speed, then you'll be able to discover new models that match your needs in the $1000-$2000 price range.

Still with me? The upshot of all this is that there's "smart cheap" scooters and then there's "dirt cheap"--and dirt cheap is not a good plan for very many people. I'd encourage you to shop around, assess your needs, and buy an economical scooter from a quality dealer. If the sticker shock still hurts, do the math on your eventual savings. Down the road, you'll be happy you did.
About the Author
AJ Vanderhorst writes about how to buy the right motor scooter for your lifestyle. A world of cutting edge design and money-saving fuel economy awaits your discovery. Ready to accelerate into the fast lane? Check out Motorized Scooters .
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